Issue #79 – “Technically Peaking” – November 28th, 2005

-I’ve always been a pretty technology-savvy kind of guy.  In high school, I was the first in my Spanish class to figure out that I could just type my assignments in English and then translate them into Spanish online (Lo siento, Senora Bauer).  In college, I was the guy chicks often turned to when their computers died in the middle of writing an important paper (my usual advice: “Plug it in”).  Soon after I graduated and moved to Manhattan, I discovered that my new cell phone had this great feature that let me quickly turn my outgoing caller ID off – very useful when you’re calling girls wasted at 4am (I called it my “booty call button”).  And now that I live in Los Angeles, I’m employing every technology and digital device I can find to get a leg up on the competition, with increasingly positive results.  Though I’m only twenty-six, I’m technically peaking.

-When I first moved to LA, I bought a new cell phone that had two great features.  One was Bluetooth capability, so I could drive around talking on a wireless earpiece and fit in with the rest of the Hollywood douchebags.  The other was the ability to send the same text message to multiple people.  Now, late on a Saturday night, I can text “what are u up to?” to ten girls at once.  Let’s say I get six responses back, four are promising, two girls I actually meet up with, and one I take home – I’d have to use my old booty call button every five minutes for a week to achieve that kind of return.  In fact, I believe text messaging has made the booty call completely obsolete, joining the ranks of buying flowers, going out to dinner, writing letters, and engaging in actual conversation as artifacts in the annals of hook-up history.

-Like most people in big cities, I use Citysearch to look up restaurants and bars.  What always bothers me about the negative user reviews is that they’re often written by someone who only went to a bar once, couldn’t get in, and is really pissed off about it.  You don’t see a lot of truly candid, positive user reviews.  Probably because they’d sound something like this: “I never heard of this bar, but this chick I text messaged told me to meet her there.  I was real fucked up so I don’t really remember what the place looked like.  I threw up in a urinal in the bathroom and I lost my credit card.  The girl I texted ended up negging me but I went home with some other girl whose name I did not know and she touched my penis.  This bar rocks and I’d go back again if I could find it.”

-In the late ‘90s, Bill Gates famously underestimated the power of the Internet and had to struggle to catch up.  In the mid-2000s, I almost made a similar mistake.  People kept telling me there were women galore on MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster, but I was dating Girlfriend at the time and ignored their pleas.  But now that I’m single, I’ve seen the light.  Here’s my take.  Friendster seems to be much more of a Northeast thing and is slightly boring.  Facebook’s general purpose is to gently remind its members that there are hotter chicks at every other college in the country besides yours.  And MySpace, well, that’s where shit just gets freaky.  MySpace is where you go if you want to see pictures of a lithe blonde with no morals one minute and then get messaged by a strange goth dude the next.  In other words, the girl you try to take home from the bar and the guy who can’t get in who later writes an unnecessarily derogatory review on Citysearch.

-In the end, I think that recent advances in technology have made the world a better place.  And by “the world” I mean “my world.”  And by “better” I mean “the ability to hit on chicks without risk of face-to-face rejection.”  Technically speaking, though, I don’t believe I’m truly technically peaking.  There will always be something new and mind-blowing to enhance my life.  And if time travel is ever invented, I’m heading straight back to high school to complete my Spanish assignments the right way, sin duda.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I just opened an account with Bank of America.  All my checks say “Valued Customer Since 2005.”  I just think that’s a weird thing to print on a check.  I’m concerned anyone I pay will see it and be like, “2005, huh?  That’s now.  What, did your piggy bank break?”

-A month after I moved from New York to LA, my buddy Triplet #2 moved from New York to London.  We both returned for the first time last week, to a party filled with friends we are equally close with.  Yet he got a louder greeting than I did.  Even though he moved farther, I’ve been gone longer – shouldn’t that count more?  Man, my friends are fucking idiots.  I can’t believe those assholes didn’t miss me as much as I thought.

-I want to meet the guy who decides the ratio of sizes in an assorted package of band-aids.

-I love the show “House,” though it’s a bit formulaic.  In every episode, someone gets sick in the beginning and dramatically collapses into a free-standing shelving unit filled with glass and other assorted fragile items.  Where does one even find furniture like that?  God forbid I ever fell violently ill in my apartment, the best I could do would be to break a couple of shotglasses while crumpling awkwardly onto a pleather loveseat.

-My buddy Big Dave visited me in LA a few weeks ago.  We were at breakfast with a bunch of people and everyone ordered coffee or orange juice to drink.  Big Dave ordered chocolate milk.  Everyone started oohing and aahing.  “Chocolate milk,” we all said, “What a great idea!  I never think to order chocolate milk, but I really should more often!”  And so we all did.  He is an inspiration to us all.

-When I visited New York City last week, I crashed at my buddy Chi’s place (though due to the miracle of multiple text messaging, I never actually slept there).  What I always find disturbing about staying at a male friend’s apartment is noticing objects that are clearly masturbatory aids.  For instance, a box of tissues only reachable from the bed, a bottle of moisturizing lotion on the nightstand, or a lone, crusty sock on the floor.  Chi actually has a garbage can next to his bed that is so tiny its only conceivable use is tissue disposal.  Listen, I know every man has his needs, but Chi, you gotta get a bigger garbage can, dude.  At least maintain the illusion you’re not a dirty bastard.

-And, finally, I’ve recently realized that by embracing technology, I’m not only helping myself, but helping my friends as well.  It seems that some of my buddies have taken to surfing through my profiles on MySpace and Facebook, identifying hot chicks, and then messaging them under the auspices of “Hey, you like Karo?  Well I cheated in high school Spanish with him.  We should probably bang.”  Surprisingly, it sometimes works.  And so it seems that, quite inadvertently, I’ve created a secondary ass market for my friends.  Let’s call their technique “Karospacing.”  And don’t worry guys, no need to thank me.  I just want to be missed more than anyone else next time I visit.  After all, I have been a valued friend since 1979.  You know what?  Maybe I should get that printed on my checks.  Fuck me.